Maserati sets sail

Giovanni Soldini and crew set sail on their bid to set the monohull reference time from Cadiz to San Salvador

Thursday February 2nd 2012, Author: Meaghan van Liew, Location: Spain

Today saw the start of Maserati's first record attempt. Giovanni Soldini and his seven strong crew set sail this morning at 11:50:08 UTC from Cadiz, Spain) bound for San Salvador, Bahamas. The crew's objective is to set a new record over the Cadiz-San Salvador distance, a journey of 3884 miles across the North Atlantic that has never been attempted by a monohull yacht before now.

Skipper Soldini is accompanied by German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad Van Liew and Spaniard David Vera (both watch leaders) as well as four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman) and Marco Spertini (second bowman).

"We have decided to set off from Cadiz immediately because of favourable weather", explains Giovanni Soldini. "The high pressure area over the Azores has moved to a position from which it should grant us a good wind during the first half of the crossing. We can't really tell what will happen in the second half, around 40-50°W, because the long term forecasts are simply not reliable enough. We shouldn't find any surprises, though. We are all ready for the challenge and really looking forward to getting under way."

Spaniard David Vera adds: "I'm delighted to be part of the Maserati team. It's a beautiful, fast boat and we've got a great team. I'm perfectly at home here in Spain too. I live in Gran Canaria and the passage around the Canary Islands is a crucial moment for us in navigational terms. We have to keep south of the islands, sailing as close as possible to the coast without losing any wind."

The Cadiz-San Salvador record is being monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. The main problem during the first part of the trip will be an area of high pressure over the Azores, blocking the way. During the second half, the principal risk will come from a series of fronts and depressions that could slow the boat down if the wind strength drops too much. In the past, only maxi-multihulls attempted this record. Maserati is trying to set the first reference time for monohull boats.

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